The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A federal judge in Arizona today handed down the maximum 10-year sentence to the patriarch of a family of white supremacists who have had run-ins with the law in various states over the past three decades.
Kirby K. Kehoe, 65, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow in Phoenix after pleading guilty in February to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. His son, Cheyne C. Kehoe, 35, was sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading to being a felon in possession of firearms.
The father-son team struck plea bargains with federal prosecutors instead of going to trial on additional charges that were dismissed as part of the deal. Upon completion of their prison sentences, both will serve three years of supervised release.
The pair’s latest encounter with law enforcement came last October when heavily armed agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided what was described as an “off-the-grid compound” 140 miles north of Phoenix, near Ash Fork, Ariz.
There, agents found what they described as a commercial-grade marijuana growing operation and an arsenal: 17 firearms and 16,891 rounds of ammunition, body armor and explosive powder.
The marijuana was being grown, processed and stored in various large, metal shipping containers that had been moved onto the property and concealed with camouflage netting.
Kirby Kehoe’s court-appointed attorney argued that federal prosecutors had failed to make a connection between the firearms and the marijuana growing operation, while federal prosecutors contended the weapons were to be used to defend the illegal operation. Nonetheless, Kirby Kehoe couldn’t legally possess firearms because of his prior convictions in the Eastern District of Washington for possessing homemade hand grenades and a modified, fully automatic assault rifle.
Kirby Kehoe agreed to forfeit ownership of a long list of firearms and ammunition to the government as part of his guilty plea.
Agents seized 15 pounds of marijuana but haven’t disclosed if they learned where Kirby Kehoe was selling the drug.
Cheyne Kehoe and his brother Chevie, who were introduced to the racist religion known as Christian Identity by their parents, were involved in a shootout with police in 1997 in Ohio, captured on a dashboard camera. Both fugitives were arrested and sent to prison after a nationwide manhunt.
Chevie Kehoe, who is serving life in prison for involvement with a terrorist cell called the Aryan Republic Army, was convicted in the torture-murder of an Arkansas gun dealer, his wife and their 8-year-old girl who was smothered after being shocked with a cattle prod. Chevie Kehoe also was implicated but never charged in connection with a pipe-bombing at Spokane’s City Hall.
Federal investigators determined that firearms and other militia supplies stolen from the gun dealer were sold at various gun shows by Kirby and Chevie Kehoe.
Prosecutors in Tennessee say they will seek enhanced prison sentences for five Aryan Nations members who have been arrested on attempted murder and other charges in the severe beating of a fellow white supremacist.
The tougher sentences will be sought, prosecutors say, because the five suspects are suspected gang members who carried out the alleged crimes as part of the group’s activity.
Arrested last week were Leonard Lionel Kilgore, 36, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Jacob Eli Campbell, 33, and Michael James O’Conner, Jr., 32, both of Sevierville, Tenn.
David Lee Dozard II, 32, who currently is in a Tennessee state prison on unrelated charges, was served there with charging documents, Anderson County Sheriff Paul N. White said in a news release.
The fifth suspect and the last to be arrested, Crystal Lynnette McGuire, 37, of Powell, Tenn., was taken into custody on Wednesday following a traffic stop in Louisiana, WATE-TV in Knoxville reported.
Prosecutors took their case in the “severe beating” of a 31-year-old Briceville, Tenn., man in December to an Anderson County grand jury last week, and the panel returned indictments against the five suspects, the sheriff said.
“All five persons charged in this case are members of the Aryan Nations gang,” said Sheriff White.
The five suspects face charges of attempted first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.
Kilgore, Campbell and O’Conner are being held in the Anderson County Jail in Clinton, Tenn., on $100,000 bond each. Dozard is in state prison and McGuire is expected to be extradited from Louisiana to Tennessee.
According to Anderson County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Spitzer, the victim was also an Aryan Nations member. Authorities didn’t disclose the victim’s identity or why he was the target of the attack.
“The attack was believed to be a part of the business of the organization –essentially a punishment of one of [its] own members,” Anderson County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Spitzer told the Knoxville television station. He didn’t immediately return a call when Hatewatch attempted to reach him today for comment.Spitzer said that the suspected gang members are not solely driven by matters of race but instead focus on organized crime to make money.
After years of propagandizing, neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller is accused of a triple murder. The violence was a long time coming.
MARIONVILLE, Mo. – The troubled Miller boys are buried side-by-side, a few yards from the two-lane blacktop that cuts through the middle of the cemetery on the edge of this small country town. Each brother met a tragic end at an early age. One perished in a ball of flames, the other in a shootout with the law. Yet, even in death, their father, Frazier Glenn Miller, the notorious neo-Nazi and now triple-murder suspect in this spring’s Jewish community center terrorist attacks in Kansas, will not allow his sons to rest in peace. Engraved on their matching gray headstones is “88” – the numerical symbol for “Heil Hitler.”
Miller’s right-wing politics, prayers and delusions are all over the polished granite stones, which proclaim his sons to have been young “Saxon Braveheart” rebels who “Ride Now Forever” with the “Valkyrie Angels in the Heavens.”
Mike, the youngest and wildest Miller brother, the one who tried hardest to please his daddy, was the first to take the ride. He was killed in 1998 in a fiery car crash. He was just 19 and not long out of prison for committing a racially motivated arson. In the middle of a winter night, when he was 17, Mike had lobbed a Molotov cocktail into the back of a trailer home, filled with sleeping people, including, most disgustingly, according to his father’s twisted life’s lessons, a young black man and his white girlfriend.
Jesse, a year older than Mike and in possession of a calmer spirit, died a decade later in what the Lawrence County Sheriff describes as an Old West shootout. Jesse was driving with his mother to put flowers on his brother’s grave, got into a car accident, and inexplicably shot to death a man who stopped to help. He then went marching towards town, brandishing a shotgun. When a Marionville police officer arrived, Jesse shot him, too. The officer survived and returned fire, killing Jesse, who died along the side of the road.
“I think a lot of it had to do with their upbringing,” the sheriff, Brad DeLay, told Hatewatch. “To me they kind of appeared to be Frazier’s muscle men. If something were to happen, while we never could directly link it to him, you just had that feeling they were probably doing something that daddy wanted them to do or had talked about.” ( continue to full post… )
Man and Woman with Alleged White Supremacist Ties Kill Two Las Vegas Police Officers, Bystander before Killing Selves
A man and a woman who neighbors say were militant white supremacists walked into a North Las Vegas mall pizza shop on Sunday and, shouting declarations about the “start of a revolution,” opened fire on two Metro police officers eating lunch there, killing both men. The two then walked into a neighboring Wal-Mart and ordered everyone out, though not before shooting one bystander to death. The two then shot themselves after exchanging gunfire with police inside the store.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, police found swastikas in the couple’s apartment, and the couple’s neighbors described them as “militant” people who talked about conspiracy theories, killing police officers, and “going underground”.
One of their neighbors said the man told him he had come out to Nevada to participate in the recent standoff with federal authorities over rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. He also told the neighbor that he had been kicked off of Bundy’s ranch property, though Bundy’s wife said she was unaware of any such person having been on their ranch.
The neighbor described them as “weird people” and said he suspected they used methamphetamines.
Sunday’s nightmarish scene in Las Vegas erupted shortly before noon at the Cici’s Pizza restaurant near the Wal-Mart in North Las Vegas on Nellis Boulevard. The man, described as a tall, bald white man with a scruffy beard, and the woman walked in and opened fire. According to witnesses, before opening fire, they shouted that “this was the start of a revolution.” The woman reportedly walked up behind one of the officers and shot him in the head at the soft drink stand. They then took the officers’ guns and ammunition.
The Review Journal reported that they then draped a Gadsden Flag – the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” banner long popular with antigovernment “Patriot” movement followers, and more recently adopted by the Tea Party – over the corpses of the two officers.
The slain officers were identified as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31. ( continue to full post… )
A Florida man who fired more than 50 rounds at police officers and now is charged with 10 counts of attempted murder had neo-Nazi literature and a stockpile of firearms and ammunition in his home, authorities say.
No officers were injured during last weekend’s SWAT encounter that began when they went to a home near Williston, Fla., looking for Dustin Harold Heathman, who had been sought on multiple arrest warrants.
As SWAT officers approached the home on Sunday, a woman inside took off running and Heathman opened fire, hitting a SWAT vehicle several times, WESH-TV in Orlando reported.
Heathman then turned his automatic weapon toward other SWAT officers who were approaching the home, according to the news report.
During an exchange of gunfire, Heathman was hit with glass fragments, but his injuries weren’t life-threatening, authorities said. After making antigovenment statements and suggesting he wanted to die, he was booked into the Marion County Jail.
Investigators have not released the list of items seized during a search of the home, but confirmed to Hatewatch today that neo-Nazi and white supremacist items were found, along with a cache of weapons and ammunition.
“We don’t know at this point exactly what his affiliations were,” Capt. James Pogue, the department’s public information chief, said today when reached for comment.
After his arrest, Marion County sheriff’s officials said Heathman reportedly made suicidal comments and he expressed antigovernment views similar to those of a sovereign citizen.
“His statement was that he was anti-government,” Marion County Major Tommy Bibb told WJCB-TV in Ocala.
“He did not want to let anyone come and arrest him,” Bibb told the television station. “His initial [plan] was to shoot as many officers as he could and then die by suicide by cop.”
Public records show Heathman has convictions in Palm Beach, Fla., for robbery, burglary, possessing a destructive device, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, attempting to elude officers and motor vehicle theft.
As a felon, he wouldn’t have been able to legally possess firearms. Federal authorities now are considering whether to file federal firearms charges in addition to the state attempted murder charges.
A massive investigation in Oregon shows evidence of a criminal web – involving guns, drugs, stolen property, identity theft and violence – linking white supremacists and outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“Operation White Christmas,” as the year-old investigation is code-named, so far has resulted in the arrests of 54 individuals, mostly in the Portland area, leading to 11 criminal cases in state court and another 43 in federal court.
As for its scope, the investigation based in Portland and Multnomah County rivals the prosecutions of members of another violent gang, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
The Oregon suspects variously are affiliated with at least five known street and prison white supremacist gangs – European Kindred (EK); Rude Crude Brood; All Ona Bitch (AOB); Fat Bitch Killers (FBK) and Insane Peckerwood Syndicate (IPS), authorities say.
Others arrested, investigators say, are associates of the Gypsy Jokers outlaw motorcycle gang whose members were believed to be involved in firearms and drug trafficking with the white supremacist gangs.
“The scope of this case is by far the largest ever undertaken by this agency in recent memory, based on the number of suspects investigated, the number of persons arrested and the amount of guns recovered,” Lt. Ned Walls, the investigations division supervisor for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, told Hatewatch.
What initially began as an investigation of drug and firearms trafficking by white supremacist gangs blossomed into a broader probe of robberies, home invasions, burglaries, kidnapping, assaults, shootings and witness intimidation, Walls said. Some of the crimes involved gang-on-gang violence.
“The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would have had an impossibly hard time trying to conduct this investigation on our own,” Walls said. The department, he said, got “outstanding collaborative” support and involvement from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Clackamas and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices in Oregon, the Portland Police Bureau, the Gresham, Ore., Police Department, Klickitat County, Wash., Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. ( continue to full post… )
Two white supremacist prison gang members – convicted of murdering a fellow white inmate because he shared a jail cell with a black man – were sentenced today to lengthy sentences in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Donald R. LaFond Jr. was sentenced to life in prison and Jason Robert Widdison was sentenced to 31 years and eight months. Last February, the men were convicted by a jury of murdering fellow inmate Kenneth Mills inside the walls of the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta on March 1, 2011.
“These defendants, members of a white supremacist prison gang, brutally murdered another inmate for not objecting to having an African-American cellmate,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Whether racially motivated violence occurs on our streets or in our prisons, we will hold the perpetrators accountable.”
Evidence presented at trial showed LaFond and Widdison, both members of white supremacist prison gangs, were exercising inside the special housing unit recreation area of the penitentiary shortly before the crime.
Authorities said LaFond, 53, of New Bedford, Mass., was a member of the Aryan Resistance Militia while Widdison, 35, of Morgan, Utah. belonged to the Soldiers of Aryan Culture.
In weeks prior to the prison killing, LaFond and Widdison expressed anger towards the victim because the he had refused to protest the fact that he had an African-American cellmate, according to trial testimony.
“The defendants pressured the victim to take any steps necessary to be reassigned to another cell. Further evidence showed that the victim refused to comply with the defendants’ demands and that the defendants regarded this refusal as a violation of their gang code,” the Department of Justice said in a statement about the case.
On the day of the assault, the victim, who was white and not a gang member, joined the defendants in the recreation area and attempted to make conversation and walk around with them.
After a short period of time, LaFond and Widdison suddenly began to punch the victim from both the front and behind, knocking the victim to the ground, according to trial testimony.
The jury heard that both LaFond and Widdison then stomped on the victim’s head and neck, as many as 10 times each. Corrections officers witnessed the incident and intervened.
Both men ultimately complied with the officers’ orders to stop the assault, but by then, the victim was unconscious. He was taken to a hospital, but never regained consciousness and died on April 5, 2011.
The death in a federal correctional facility was investigated by the FBI.
“Law and order within a correctional facility setting is paramount in protecting the safety and lives of not only those inmates living within the walls of the facility but also for those working there,” J. Britt Johnson, the agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, said in a statement after the sentencing.
“The FBI will continue to provide investigative assistance to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in ensuring that these inmates with gang or supremacy affiliations are held accountable for their violent actions,” Johnson said.
Craig Cobb, the white supremacist who terrorized a small North Dakota town after attempting to build an extremist, whites-only enclave there, is under investigation for violating the terms of his parole, according to a local television station.
The investigation stems from Cobb’s activities on WhiteNations.com, an online racist forum managed by Stanley Edward Diggs of Houma, La. Diggs, who calls himself “Fred O’Malley” online, created White Nations after being booted from its competitor, Vanguard News Network (VNN), over his attempts to get rid of a user whom he falsely believed was working with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department declined to comment when contacted by Hatewatch on Wednesday. But KX News reported that Cobb, or someone using his name and photo, has been posting information about people to White Nations, including family and biographical information about Heidi Beirich, director of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which publishes this blog.
According to KX News, 19 pages of evidence have been turned over to the sheriff’s department. A spokesperson for the North Dakota Department of Corrections, Tim Tausend, said that
Cobb’s parole officer, Kevin Hagen, is leading an investigation.
Cobb, 62, was arrested in November 2013, after parading through the streets of Leith, N.D., with a firearm –– something he claimed to have done in response to harassment. He was charged with seven felony counts of terrorizing, which would have carried a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail. But under the terms of a plea agreement, Cobb was sentenced to four years of supervised release and was prohibited from any contact with the victims, including by computer.
Since his release from jail, Cobb has been quite prolific, posting hundreds of times to White Nations under a section called “Cobb’s Corner,” including posts detailing how to make improvised flaming arrows with steel wool and a 9-volt battery.
A former leader of the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan will serve two years in prison for burning a cross in 2009 in Ozark, Ala., to “scare and intimidate residents of the African-American community by threatening the use of force against them.”
Steven Joshua Dinkle, 28, the former exalted cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the Keystone Knights, also will be on three years of “supervised release” after he gets out of prison under the sentence handed down Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins.
At the sentencing hearing, the judge said the purpose of Dinkle’s conduct clearly was “to terrorize people in the community” and that his “message was one of intimidation and violence.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said Dinkle “chose to burn the cross at the very entrance to an African-American neighborhood so that anyone coming or going would see the fiery cross. He intended to intimidate the community’s residents in their own homes and neighborhood. There is no place for such conduct in our society and the department will continue to prosecute these violent acts of hate.”
U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr., of the Middle District of Alabama, echoed those comments. “It is sad that, in this day and age, people are still filled with such hate,” Beck said. “To act on such hate and burn a cross turns that hate into a crime which should not, and will not, be tolerated. Prosecuting these type crimes will continue to be a priority of my office.”
Dinkle pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to one count of conspiracy to violate housing rights, one count of criminal interference with the right to fair housing, and two counts of obstruction of justice related to false statements he gave investigators.
He was arrested by FBI agents last November in Mississippi, four days after his mother, Pamela Morris, 45, the former secretary of the same KKK chapter in Ozark, was arrested. Dinkle admitted lying to FBI agents about his role in the cross burning. His mother is scheduled to stand trial Aug. 4 on two counts of perjury arising out of the investigation into the cross burning.
Court documents say Dinkle and KKK-recruit Thomas Windell Smith, whose age wasn’t provided by authorities, met at Dinkle’s home in Ozark on May 8, 2009, and decided to burn a cross in a nearby African-American neighborhood.
Dinkle wrapped a 6-foot wooden cross with jeans and a towel before driving with Smith in his truck to a nearby black community. The pair dug a hole, doused the cross with fuel and fled in Smith’s truck.
Smith pleaded guilty last December to one count of conspiracy to violate housing rights and faces sentencing Aug. 19, 2014.
Frank Taaffe, the tough-talking friend of George Zimmerman who appeared on multiple TV programs to defend the Florida man’s actions in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, has had an apparent change of heart.
Taaffe, who has a history as a white supremacist as well as a criminal background, told a reporter for Orlando, Fla.’s News 13 that he now believes that Zimmerman “racially profiled” Martin the day he was shot, and that he should have been found guilty by the jury that eventually acquitted him last year.
“What I know of George and his tendencies and also my opinion is that he racially profiled Trayvon Martin that night because if that had been a white kid on a cell phone, walking through our neighborhood, he wouldn’t have stayed on him the way he did and that’s a fact and I believe that in my heart,” Taaffe told reporter John Davis.
For many months, Taaffe said just the opposite, and did so on national television on numerous occasions, depicting Martin as a drug-addled, thuggish teenager and declaring Zimmerman’s innocence. “It’s really sad that he has already been convicted in the public media and has already been sentenced to the gas chamber,” he lamented in an interview with NBC’s Miami affiliate.
Taaffe said he’s now recanting his earlier statements in order to clear his conscience. “I can only ask for the country to forgive me, and today I believe that he racially profiled him based on the color of his skin.”
Davis said that some “may wonder what does Frank Taaffe have to gain by doing this,” before asking if he was was working on a book or TV show. Taaffe said no, “I’m just working on me right now and getting right with God.”
Taaffe told Davis that he was driven to reassess his views after the death of his brother last month, as well as his two sons’ deaths in recent years. He added a message for Trayvon Martin’s parents: “I’m sorry that you lost your son, I know what that’s like and I wish things had been different.”
It was not clear whether Taaffe now has similar regrets over the crudely racist things he uttered on air while campaigning on Zimmerman’s behalf – most notably on the white nationalist podcast “The White Voice.” On that show, he attacked Oprah Winfrey as a “nigger” and said “the only time that a Black life is vindicated is when a White person kills them.”